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The gender gap in education and late-life cognition: Evidence from multiple countries and birth cohorts

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  • Angrisani, Marco
  • Lee, Jinkook
  • Meijer, Erik

Abstract

We document side-by-side trends in the gender gap of educational achievement and late-life cognition across countries. By and large, we find that, within the cohorts born between 1920 and 1959, women have had significantly lower educational attainment than men, with the gap narrowing over time. Correspondingly, we estimate a pronounced tendency of women's cognition to improve over time relative to men. We investigate whether these co-movements are likely due to the narrowing gender gap in education inducing a relative improvement in women’s cognition. The data offer little support for such a causal relation. We discuss possible third factors that may underlie the observed parallel trends in education and cognition gender gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Angrisani, Marco & Lee, Jinkook & Meijer, Erik, 2020. "The gender gap in education and late-life cognition: Evidence from multiple countries and birth cohorts," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joecag:v:16:y:2020:i:c:s2212828x19301197
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2019.100232
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognition; Education; Gender difference; Polygenic risk score; Development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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